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Indian Girls In Canada

According to Statistics Canada, in 2006 there were 962,665 people who classified themselves as being of Indian origin. The term “East Indian” or Indo-Canadian is most commonly associated with people of Indian origin, since the term "Indian" in Canada has commonly been used to refer to the Aboriginal Canadians and still continues to be used to describe them, causing much confusion. In addition, the term "Indian" is also occasionally applied to people from the Caribbean (West Indians), also called Indo-Caribbeans. Out of this population, 42% are Hindu, 39% are Sikh, and the remainder are Muslim, Christian, Jain, Buddhist, or no religious affiliation. The main Indian ethnic communities are Punjabis (who account for more than half the population) as well Gujaratis, Tamils (Indian as opposed to Sri Lankan), Indo-Caribbeans (numbering approximately 200,000), Keralites, Bengalis, Sindhis and others.

The first known Indian settlers in Canada were Indian army soldiers who had passed through Canada in 1897 on their way back home from attending Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebration in London, England. Some are believed to have remained in British Columbia and others returned there later, along with other Punjabi Indians who were attracted to the possibilities for farming and forestry. They were mainly male Sikhs who were seeking work opportunities. Indo-Caribbeans, descendants of the Indian indentured workers who had gone to the Caribbean since 1838, made an early appearance in Canada with the arrival of the Trinidadian medical student Kenneth Mahabir and the Demerara (now Guyana) clerk M.N. Santoo, both in 1908.

The first immigrants in British Columbia, allegedly faced widespread racism from the local white Canadians. There were race riots that targeted these immigrants, as well as new Chinese immigrants. Most decided to return to India, while a few stayed behind. The Canadian government prevented these men from bringing their wives and children until 1919, another reason why many of them chose to leave. Quotas were established to prevent many Indians from moving to Canada in the early 20th century. These quotas allowed fewer than 100 people from India a year until 1957, when the number was increased to 300. In 1967, all quotas were scrapped, and immigration was based on a point system, thus allowing many more Indians to enter. Since this open door policy was adopted, Indians continue to come in large numbers, and roughly 25,000-30,000 arrive each year (which now makes Indians the second highest group immigrating to Canada each year, after the Chinese).

Most Indians choose to immigrate to larger urban centers like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, where more than 70% live. Smaller communities are also growing in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Indians in Vancouver are from diverse locations in India, such as Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Little India. Indians in Vancouver mainly live in the suburb of Surrey, but can also be found in other parts of Vancouver. The vast majority of Vancouver Indians are of Sikh origin and have taken significant roles in politics and other professions, with several Supreme Court justices, three Attorneys General and one provincial premier hailing from the community.

Amongst the many notables in the Indo Canadian diaspora there are the Hon Minister Harinder Takhar of the Ontario Legislature.



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